Monday, March 26, 2007

Lammy-kins?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Author and Reality TV Super Chef, Gordon Ramsay

According to a recent article in The New Yorker, the fire-breathing, plate throwing, line-chef abusing, Gordon Ramsay, of the Fox Network’s Hell’s Kitchen is not such a "bad guy" at all. Meaning perhaps, that all that foul-mouthed, Hell's Kitchen super drama -- really is for the sake of the TV cameras?? In fact, the 3-star Michelin rated restaurateur goes on to say about his New York restaurant in a recent documentary for Britain’s Channel Four:

"I do television so I can do New York." He was apparently again, referring to Hell’s Kitchen, the reality TV show (and totally manic scream-a-thon) he introduced to an American audience. "Basically, I’m a prostitute," he continued, "I prostitute myself so I can have a restaurant here. But I don’t fully take off my knickers."

That would probably explain a whole lot, methinks.

In any event, read more on Chef Gordon Ramsay’s softer side here.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Purely Bourdain

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Host of The Travel Channel's No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain

Once again, America's favorite bad boy chef and novelist gives us his uncensored take on the Food Network Channel and some of its premiere hosts as a guest blogger over at Chef Michael Ruhlman’s blog, Ruhlman . (Aw, c’mon now, Tony, don’t hold back...tell us what you really think.)

Wowsa.

And yes, as always, Bourdain pretty much rips ‘em each a "brand new one," while apparently taking it a bit easy on down-home girl, Paula Deen, when referring to her as a seemingly "nice old lady." (Can’t you just see America’s favorite Georgia Peach, rolling her ample neck, and eyes, chanting, "Uh, uh, baby -- oh no, you didn’t!") But then, going on to refer to her as a look-alike for the late cult icon, Divine... Well, Ouch!

Anyway, to paraphrase the ever-tempestuous Tony Bourdain:

I actually WATCH Food Network now and again, more often than not drawn in by the progressive horrors on screen. I find myself riveted by its awfulness, like watching a multi-car accident in slow motion. Mesmerized at the ascent of the Ready-Made bobblehead personalities, and the not-so-subtle shunting aside of the Old School chefs, I find myself de-constructing the not-terrible shows, imagining behind the scenes struggles and frustrations, and obsessing unhealthily on the Truly Awful ones. Screaming out loud at Sandra Lee in disbelief as she massacres another dish, then sits grinning, her face stretched into a terrifying rictus of faux cheer for the final triumphant presentation. I mourn for Mario..and Alton...Bobby and yes--even Emeril, nobly holding the fort while the TV empire he helped build crumbles like undercooked Bundt cake into a goo of Cheez Wiz around him.

As titled, Bourdain starts off his post with: Nobody Asked Me...But...

And no doubt, I, for one, will never get tired of hearing what this super-talented chef and consummate "wordsmith" has to say -- as only *he* can say it.

Friday, March 16, 2007

For The Cause

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Share Our Strength and WineStyles, the nation's largest wine store franchise, have announced a national cause-related marketing partnership that will raise funds for the fight against childhood hunger.

Learn more here about this ultra-worthy endeavor in the ongoing effort to feed our children.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Rachael Ray: Time To Make The Donuts

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I think it’s now pretty clear that, well, hell...her detractors can say whatever it is they want. Still, the perky, young culinary "machine" known as Ms. Rachael Ray, will continue to flip it off, and laugh about it all the way to her nearest bank -- with *mucho dinero* to deposit there, no doubt.

And now, in addition to her ABC syndicated talk show, her omnipresence on the Food Network Channel, her role as a prolific cookbook author and recent gig as pitch woman for Nabisco , Rachael is now also the pitch woman for Dunkin Donuts .

So since I guess we’ve all established by now...that she’s not a chef (Rachael herself has even confirmed this), no one can argue, that she’s a mega, multi media force to be reckoned with. Therefore, simply try (if you can) to "get over it" when it comes to her pet phrases such as Yum-O and E.V.O.O., which seem to drive some folks up the proverbial wall -- although I’ll never really understand why.

She’s just being Rachael Ray, guys. And clearly, I’ve never seen any evidence up till now, that she ever pretended to be anyone else.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

More TV Reality Heat

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The Judges this time around: Ming Tsai, Michael Ruhlman, and Todd English

With the constant rise of today’s chefs reaching near rock star status -- does anyone truly realize the amount of pressure brewing from moment to moment most up-and-coming chefs actually face behind the scenes in the average restaurant kitchen? Well, that's the question PBS will attempt to explore in the brand-new prime-time reality series Cooking Under Fire premiering Wednesday, April 27th.

In this Reality TV/documentary series, 12 contestants will be tracked as they embark on a coast-to-coast cooking competition in four of the nation's culinary capitals --Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and New York. The show will share an insider's look at the mental and physical challenges and intense pressures faced in the today's highly competitive restaurant industry, and the combination of talent and skills that it really takes to succeed. It's also being solidly touted as: "Reality TV — the way only PBS can do it." Um...Okay.

In any event, the contestants will be judged by celebrity super chefs Ming Tsai, Todd English, and Michael Ruhlman author of The Soul of a Chef,The Making of a Chef , as well as an impressive panel of local guest chef judges -- as they face cooking challenges, difficult deadlines, and the heated pressure of working against the clock. Those who can’t stand the heat will, of course, be taken off the competition menu and sent packing. And, of course, the lone contestant left standing, will win the ultimate prize -- a chef position at one of restaurateur Todd English's New York City restaurants.

A kinder, gentler, Fox Network’s Hell’s Kitchen with a lighter twist, perhaps? We’ll see. Check local listings – and tune in.

Friday, March 02, 2007

By Popular Demand

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The word these days is there's *more* good Pinot Noir available than ever before. According Ray Isle over at Food & Wine Magazine:

“The best wines I tasted offered that elusive Pinot character: profound aromatic complexity, silky texture, delicate but saturated flavor, and firm but never overbearing structure. Fruit characteristics ranged from ripe blackberry to sour cherry; nuanced notes of herbs, licorice, flowers and earth marked some of the top wines. Alcohol levels ranged from a lithe 12.5 percent to a hulking 15.4 percent—indicating a wine that’s about as graceful as a rhino on ice skates.”

Check out what else he has to say about Pinot Noir in this month’s issue of Food and Wine .

Also: For the best food pairings with this wonderful wine, be sure to go to www.foodandwine.com/pinot to find a listing of Pinot-friendly recipes. And trust me on the Stir-Fry Peking Lamb With Peppers and Green Beans . I tried it this past Sunday...to some rave reviews.